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Capello battles to put Beckham row behind him

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Update: 2010-08-12 16:48:37
Capello battles to put Beckham row behind him

LONDON: England coach Fabio Capello insists the bond with his players will not be broken by the ham-fisted and controversial manner in which he ended David Beckham`s international career.

The Italian was roundly criticised for using a TV interview to tell the former captain that he was too old to feature in the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.

It only emerged late on Thursday that Capello`s assistant Franco Baldini had spoken to Beckham in the wake of the interview and that the 35-year-old was aware of its content.

As a result Capello has no doubt that his players retained faith in him.

"I am sure about it," he said. "The players are the important thing. They are the ones I work with. If they believe in me, we can win. When we win the fans will be with us.

"My relationship with the players is good. I have never had any problems and I am looking forward. It is not easy but this is a new adventure and I have to find new players."

Meanwhile, Premier League side West Ham believe they can rescue Beckham from the scrapheap onto which the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was dumped by Capello.

The Hammers believe that the midfielder, still playing club football with the Los Angeles Galaxy, could have a crucial ambassadorial role in the club`s hopes of playing in the Olympic stadium once the 2012 London Games are finished.

West Ham co-chairman David Gold said there is an open invitation for Beckham to join the club either on loan as a player or for him to be a club ambassador.

"He`s still a great player and it would be a fantastic statement if he came to West Ham," Gold told the BBC.

"We also had in mind his value as an ambassador to help us with securing the Olympic Stadium. He was an ambassador for the 2012 bid and is doing the same for the 2018 World Cup."

Despite Capello`s insistence that Beckham`s time as an international has finished, the player`s agent said his client was not about to announce his international retirement.

A statement read: "There has been no discussion of retirement. He will always be available for his country, when fit and if needed he will be there."

However, Capello confirmed after Wednesday`s 2-1 friendly win over Hungary that Beckham was no longer in his plans as he looks for younger players to spearhead the Euro 2012 campaign.

"I think David knows he has no future with the international team because we have to change," said Capello in what has now become an infamous TV interview.

"I`m sure someone will have phoned him now. We tried to speak to him but we couldn`t. I will speak to him soon."

But Capello revealed he would grant Beckham a farewell appearance at Wembley in a friendly, probably against France in November.

"David is a fantastic player, he was really important but we have to monitor the new players for the future. The age is important," Capello said.

Speaking in Los Angeles, prior to Capello`s comments, Beckham said: "I`ve always said that I won`t retire from playing for my country, whether I never get picked again, play one more game or 10 more games."

Beckham has admitted that being forced to miss the World Cup this summer through an Achilles tendon injury had made him more determined to play again, although his options are becoming more limited.

AC Milan, where he had two spells on loan, have already said that a third deal will not be in the offing.

Meanwhile, former teammates have rallied to Beckham`s side.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, who played alongside him at Manchester United, backed the discarded star to bounce back.

"I still wouldn`t write him off yet," said Bruce.

Ryan Giggs, a teammate at United between 1993 and 2003, added: "He will come back stronger. He is an unbelievable talent and Becks has said he still wants to play for England, so we will have to wait and see."

BDST: 1423HRS, August 13, 2010

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